Blogs > The Full-Court Press

Welcome back to the Trentonian's Full-Court Press blog. Yes, we're still alive, and with the 2015-16 season rapidly approaching, it's time to fire up the old blog for another season. Check back here throughout the year for updates on all things Rider and Princeton, including coverage of both the MAAC and Ivy League. Feel free to drop me a line on twitter @kj_franko ( or email

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Rider' Matt Lopez out for season with torn ACL

Matt Lopez is out for the season with a torn ACL. (John Blaine Photo)

Rider now has a huge hole in the middle.

Starting center Matt Lopez has been ruled out for the season, opting to have surgery on a torn right ACL suffered in last Thursday's victory over Quinnipiac.

Head coach Kevin Baggett confirmed the news Thursday morning.
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Friday, February 20, 2015

Rider's Lopez day to day after freak injury

Rider center Matt Lopez is day to day after injuring his right knee in a freak collision during Thursday night’s victory over Quinnipiac.

Lopez was running the floor on the fastbreak when he was hit low while leaping up to attempt a layup. The 7-foot center crashed to the floor as did two Bobcat players and appeared to get rolled up on before hitting the basket support.

Lopez had to be helped off the floor by teammates and was checked out by trainers. He could be seen riding the exercise bike and stretching his right leg before returning to the bench for the game’s final few minutes. 
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Thursday, February 19, 2015

Red-hot Rider poised to finish strong

Lawrenceville >> Kahlil Thomas had been out so long he was starting to get questions from his peers on campus about when he planned on returning.

After 13 games on the sideline because of a stress fracture in his left foot, Thomas returned for the Western New York trip, playing in a pair of Rider victories.

“People were always like, ‘We can’t wait for you to come back,’” Thomas said. “There was always a lot of that. I was going to make a shirt that said, ‘I don’t know, ask Jacquie (Henry). That’s my trainer.’”

The 6-foot-7 sophomore only played three minutes against Canisius in his first game action since Dec. 18 but was much better two days later, scoring eight points and grabbing five rebounds in 17 minutes at Niagara.
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Sunday, February 15, 2015

Rider sweeps Wester NY trip with win over Niagara

Jimmie Taylor scored 15 points, Teddy Okereafor added 13 and Rider swept the Western New York trip for the third time in five seasons with a 69-60 victory over Niagara on Sunday afternoon at the ‘Taps’ Gallagher Center.

The Broncs (18-9, 12-4) have won four straight and are 16-4 in their last 20 games.

Taylor and Matt Lopez (11 points, five rebounds) sparked a 20-4 run by combing for 14 of those points after Rider allowed Niagara to score the first five of the second half.
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Rider at Niagara: What to watch for

Who: Rider (17-9, 11-4) at Niagara (4-20, 3-12).

When: Sunday, 2 p.m., ‘Taps’ Gallagher Center, Lewiston, New York.

TV/ Radio: Time Warner Cable/ 107.7 FM The Bronc.

Last Time Out: Rider def. Canisius, 60-59; Niagara lost to Saint Peter’s, 77-65.

Background: The Broncs go for a fourth consecutive victory and a sweep of the Western New York trip when they tangle with the struggling Purple Eagles. Rider has won nine of the last 10 in the series.
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Friday, February 13, 2015

Okereafor, Rider hold off Canisius

Teddy Okereafor scored 15 points, Jimmie Taylor 13 and Rider slipped past Canisius, 60-59, on Friday night for its third consecutive victory and fifth in last six games.

Okereafor’s scored the Broncs’ final five points and they survived some shady clock work by Canisius’ gameday crew.
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Princeton weekend: What to watch for

Friday night: Princeton Tigers (10-11, 3-2) vs. Brown Bears (10-13, 1-5), 8 p.m., Jadwin Gym
Saturday night: Princeton vs. Yale Bulldogs (13-10, 5-1), 6 p.m.,  Jadwin Gym

Coverage: 103.3 WPRB, American Sports Network (Friday), Ivy League Digtal Network (Friday, Saturday)

Projected Starters
Princeton: G Spencer Weisz (6-4, Soph., 12.1 PPG, 4.9 RPG, 2.7 APG), F Hans Brase (6-8, Jr., 11.4 PPG, 7.3 RPG, 2.3 APG), F Pete Miller (6-10, Soph., 6.3 PPG, 2.8 RPG, 1.3 APG), G Amir Bell (6-3, Fr., 9 PPG, 2.9 RPG, 2.9 APG), F Steven Cook (6-5, Soph., 10.4 PPG, 3.4 RPG, 1.7 APG)

Brown: F Rafael Maia (6-9, Sr., 9.3 PPG, 8 RPG, 1.4 APG), F Cedric Kuakumensah (6-9, Jr., 10.6 PPG, 7.1 RPG), G Tavon Blackmon (6-0, Soph., 10.4 PPG, 2.2 RPG, 4.2 APG), G Steven Spieth (6-6, Soph., 10.2 PPG, 5 RPG, 2.3 APG), G JR Hobbie (6-4, Soph., 7.6 PPG, 1.2 RPG)

Yale: F Matt Townsend (6-7, Sr., 8.1 PPG, 3.8 RPG, 1.7 APG), F Justin Sears (6-8, Jr., 14.5 PPG, 7.4 RPG, 1.4 APG), G Jack Montague (6-0, Jr., 9.4 PPG, 2.2 RPG, 2 APG), G Armani Cotton (6-7, Sr., 6.4 PPG, 5.6 RPG, 1.3 APG), G Javier Duren (6-4, Sr., 13.6 PPG, 5.3 RPG, 4.2 APG)
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Rider at Canisius: What to watch for

Who: Rider (16-9, 10-4) at Canisius (12-11, 7-7).

When: Friday, 7 p.m., Koessler Athletic Center, Buffalo, New York.

Radio: 107.7 FM The Bronc.

Last Time Out: Rider def. Manhattan, 85-77 in OT;  Canisius lost to Monmouth, 44-40.

Background: The Broncs have won four of their last five and are 14-4 since coming back from the Orlando Classic. They embark on the Western New York trip this weekend, beginning Friday night against the Golden Griffins. Rider won the first meeting between the two,  59-46, in Lawrenceville.
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Monday, February 9, 2015

Rider's Lopez MAAC Player of the Week

Matt Lopez was named MAAC Player of the Week. (Gregg Slaboda Photo)

Rider head coach Kevin Baggett was prophetic when he declared Sunday afternoon that Matt Lopez would be the Player of the Week in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference.

Lopez made the decision easy when the league announced the award on Monday.

The 7-foot senior averaged 19 points and 13 rebounds over three games as the Broncs went 2-1, scoring a pair of overtime wins to close out the week.
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Saturday, February 7, 2015

Rider hosts Manhattan in key MAAC game

Lawrenceville >> With seven regular-season games remaining, head coach Kevin Baggett’s Rider team is in no mood to repeat last year’s stretch run.

The Broncs were 8-4 in the league — the same mark they carried into Thursday night’s game against Fairfield — and finished 1-7, dropping all the way down to eighth place.

Rider (15-9, 9-4) escaped last time out, beating Fairfield in overtime only after the Stags called for a timeout they didn’t have, allowing Teddy Okereafor to make the winning free throws.

What that did was set up an all-important game Sunday (2 p.m., 107.7 FM The Bronc) at home against Manhattan (12-10, 9-4).

The winner moves alone into second place.
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Tuesday, February 3, 2015

No word on discipline from end of Iona/St. Peter's altercation

Iona head coach Tim Cluess was mum on if there will be any discipline resulting in the fallout from the end of the Gaels' victory over Saint Peter's Saturday night.

The two teams got in an altercation after the final buzzer -- one in which Iona's star player, A.J. English, can be seen making contact with a referee.

"It's still under review and we're just getting ready for our next game," Cluess said.

When pressed on English, Cluess said, "I think you should take a better look at the tape, though." And then, "No comment."

Here's the tape from our friends at Big Apple Buckets.

Saint Peter's coach John Dunne also said he's still waiting to hear from the league on potential discipline against his team.

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Baggett expects Kahlil Thomas to be available Thursday vs. Fairfield

Kahlil Thomas has missed the last 11 games. (John Blaine Photo)

Rider head coach Kevin Baggett said he expects sophomore forward Kahlil Thomas to be available Thursday night when the Broncs host Fairfield.

Thomas has missed the last 11 games with a stress fracture in his left foot suffered Dec. 18 against Morgan State.

"He fits big into our mix," Baggett said. "We have another guys who can come in rebound, defend, score in the paint for us. ... It's certainly a welcome addition to have him back." 
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Monday, February 2, 2015

Rider has 7-game road win streak snapped at Siena

Rider finally ran into two things that could slow down its road roll.

Siena senior guard Rob Poole and about a foot of snow in upstate New York.

Poole, a South Jersey native who was recruited by Rider, scored 27 points and the Saints snapped the Broncs’ seven-game road winning streak with a 79-72 victory on frigid Monday night at the Times Union Center in Albany.
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Rider at Siena: What to watch for

Who: Rider (14-8, 8-3) at Siena (8-12, 5-6).

When: Monday, 7 p.m., Times Union Center, Albany, New York.

TV/Radio: Time Warner Cable/ 107.7 FM The Bronc.

Last Time Out: Rider def. St. Peter’s, 58-49; Siena lost to Manhattan, 87-79.

Background: The Broncs go for an eighth consecutive road win when they travel to New York’s capital city Monday night. The Times Union Center will also host the conference tournament in March. Siena is trying to snap a two-game skid

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